Iowa Solar Easement and Access Laws

Program Iowa Solar Easement and Access Laws
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Iowa
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential
Iowa's solar access easement provision allows for access to sunlight to operate a solar energy system. Those who are unable to obtain a voluntary solar easement from a property owner may apply to the solar access regulatory board for an order granting a solar access easement if the relevant city council or county board of supervisors has created such a board. In the absence of such a board, the matter is referred to the local district court. Applications for an easement must contain specific information about the size, location, and orientation of the solar energy system as well as a description of the actions that have been taken to minimize the impact on neighboring estates.

Persons, including public bodies, may voluntarily agree to create a solar accesseasement. A solar access easement whether obtained voluntarily or pursuant to theorder of a solar access regulatory board is subject to the same recording and conveyancerequirements as other easements. A solar access easement shall be created in writing and shall include the following:a. The legal description of the dominant and servient estates.b. A legal description of the space which must remain unobstructed expressed in termsof the degrees of the vertical and horizontal angles through which the solar access easementextends over the burdened property and the points from which these angles are measured.

Iowa code also grants municipalities the right to issue ordinances prohibiting subdivisions from including restrictive covenants that limit the use of solar collectors.

Note: The department of natural resources shall make available information and guidelines to assist local government bodies and the public to understand and use the provisions. The information and guidelines shall include an application form for a solar access easement, instructions and aids for preparing and recording solar access easements and model ordinances that promote reasonable access to solar energy.

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